The Unaffordable Care Act

Witch doctor: “A magician credited with powers of healing, divination and protection against others.”

Calling all witch doctors who will work for cash, barter or home-cooked meals. We, the tiny, unimportant percent of Americans who pay for their own health care, need help! The painters, carpenters, landscapers, cleaners, waitresses, etc. We who pay out of pocket are losing our coats. We are out in the cold.

A plan that had been slowly creeping up over time is a whole new plan, and is now unaffordable. We have received a notice that we are now included in maternity, substance abuse, newborn care, children’s dental and vision and mental health. We are a few years too young for Medicare and finally over having seven children, preemies, broken teeth, eye surgeries, glasses and troubled teens. My husband has painted more doctors’ offices and homes than he could count in exchange for services not covered by our insurance plans back then.

We are too busy working these days to abuse substances, and though our mental health is sometimes questionable, we used to feel better after a nice dinner and a walk around town; my husband no longer walks, but saves his worn-out, swollen knees to climb ladders and paint baseboards.

We don’t need any of these new gifts. The gift horse has kicked us in the rear. It’s pay up or lose. We can go uninsured while others receive full coverage and we will be fined. We can opt for a cheaper policy and go broke making up the difference in case of illness or tragedy. There were days when we could borrow, barter and moonlight, but we are tired. Where do we go from here?

— Rose Distefario
Asheville

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